No time for one-upmanship – energy is a serious business

24th Jun 2019


Achieving NetZero by 2050 in the UK, as agreed by Government, is a challenge but it is possible.

It will be costly, but then again so will not tackling climate change; it will involve disruption to the status quo, so will the impact of global warming but ultimately we either embrace the target and welcome the opportunities it presents, or have the target forced upon us. I think I know the industry well enough to speculate it will be the former – after all, “one volunteer is worth ten pressed men”.

Having agonised over the modelling, the Climate Change Committee recommended that the 2050 target was feasible within the cost parameters that were originally suggested for meeting an 80 per cent reduction. And at between 1 and 2 per cent of GDP, it isn’t cheap but arguably a price worth paying. That’s why I despair at what will now be a show of macho-posturing, one-upmanship, with leaders of different groups and authorities looking to “achieve” the target earlier. It will be done to show off how green (environmentally) these leaders claim to be whilst in reality emphasising just how green (naïve) they really are.

What is even more frustrating, is that those promising swifter action have no actual control of events. So their promises ring even more hollow. And to make matters worse, their interventions risk making matters worse. Individual homes and businesses rely on secure, affordable energy supplies. Threatening these by ill-thought out proposals under the guise of climate change action will do no good only harm. To misquote a famous political speech, “you align yourself to a code or dogma and end up with the grotesque spectacle of local politicians handing out disconnection notices or higher bills to people who are simply looking for comfort and warmth. You can’t play politics with people’s warmth, with people’s power, and with people’s hot water.”

 Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE